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<p>Meryl Streep in &quot;The&nbsp;Iron&nbsp;Lady&quot;</p>

Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Academy announces changes to Makeup, Original Song, Visual Effects and Foreign Language Film categories

Did 'The Iron Lady' play a hand in the makeup category's new moniker?

The Academy has announced rule changes for the 85th annual Academy Awards, which were voted upon Tuesday. All of the changes are quite minimal.

However, in the makeup category -- which will now be known as Best Makeup and Hairstyling -- I'm guessing the change has a lot to do with "The Iron Lady" hair stylist Marese Langan not being able to share in the win last year when she could at the BAFTA Awards. But things were actually reversed there, where prosthetics designer Mark Coulier originally wasn't allowed to share in the honor across the pond.

All of that caused a bit of a dust-up last year, thanks in part to Guy's spotlighting a post from blogger Bradley Porter (who worked on the film and later removed the post as a favor) on the matter.

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Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers pay tribute in 'Brendan's Death Song' video

Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers pay tribute in 'Brendan's Death Song' video

Band honors their fallen friend with a New Orleans send-off

It’s hard to say goodbye, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers make the most of it in the video for “Brendan’s Death Song,” directed by Marc Klasfeld.

The song, from the band's current album, "I'm With You," is exactly what the title describes: a goodbye to the band’s friend Brendan Mullen. He ran the Masque, a Hollywood club that gave the band one of its first gigs.

The video, shot in New Orleans, takes on the feel of a very somber second line, complete with carnival masks, a funeral procession, lovely outfits and emotional, beautiful vocal from lead singer Anthony Kiedis, who, of course, despite his mourning, still manages to end up shirtless (as does Flea). The clip premiered on RollingStone.com today. Watch it here. We'll embed it when RS's exclusive is up on Friday.

It’s a very fitting tribute to an important contributor to the band’s storied past.

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<p>&quot;Lawrence of Arabia&quot;&nbsp;received 10 Oscar nominations and won seven.</p>

"Lawrence of Arabia" received 10 Oscar nominations and won seven.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

AMPAS to celebrate 50 years of 'Lawrence of Arabia' with restoration screening

A rare opportunity to see it on the big screen

Recently you may recall Drew McWeeny and I separately participated in Cole Abaius's answer to the Sight & Sound all-time list of the greatest movies for Film School Rejects. In summing up his pick for the #1 movie ever, Drew said of David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" that the film's subject, T.E. Lawrence, "is a fascinating historical figure, full of contradictions, and it is fitting that David Lean's epic masterpiece manages to be funny, thrilling, sad, political, and dynamic."

Indeed, while it's been far too long since I last saw the film, it's one that sticks with you. It's the kind of thing the word "movie" was made for. The kind of thing you should experience on the big screen once in your life if you can. Or, as Drew prefers, in 70mm (indeed). Well, there's an opportunity coming up.

The Academy has announced that it will be presenting the US premiere of a new digital restoration of the film on Thursday, July 19 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The restoration originally bowed at the Cannes film festival in May.

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<p>Future of the Left</p>

Future of the Left

Interview: Future Of The Left talk ‘Common Sense’ and the most annoying fans

How does Andy Falkous feel about Denzel Washington and Mclusky song requests?

Earlier this month, Future of the Left released their new album “The Plot Against Common Sense.” You could say, in a way, the band encourages some nonsense, anyway. FotL’s live shows are rowdy, most banter-heavy social events (and yes, they’re more like an event than a traditional concert), a hard rock free-fall through song titles like “Robocop 4 – F*ck Off Robocop” and “adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood.” The Welsh group boasts new members Jimmy Watkins and Julia Ruzicka to round out this eclectic new mix of tunes on ”Common Sense,” which has inspired an increase in dancing at these shows.

Their audience has broadened, too. According to frontman/songwriter and founder of FotL’s former bedrock band Mclusky, they’ve gotten more press opportunities out of this Xtra Mile Recordings deal than they did with their last label, 4AD. They just finished a U.S. tour and plan on returning later this year.
 
Below is an abridged chat I had with the very enteraining Falkous, on his business perspective on label deals, annoying fans, his old songs with Mclusky and film.
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<p>Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in 'Sparkle'</p>

Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in 'Sparkle'

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Watch: Whitney Houston in the new video for 'Celebrate' with Jordin Sparks

The music clip pays tribute to the late singer

Whitney Houston makes one of her last video appearances in the clip for “Celebrate” from “Sparkle.”

The music video primarily focuses on Houston’s co-star Jordin Sparks and her buddies dancing around and frolicking both in additional footage and in scenes from the movie. There are only a few shots of Houston, many of them spliced into the video, and only one of her dancing.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bruce Springsteen</p>

Bruce Springsteen

Credit: AP Photo

Bruce Springsteen selected as MusiCares Person of the Year

The Recording Academy will honor the Boss on Feb. 8

Bruce Springsteen will be honored at 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year on Feb. 8, 2013.

The event, presented by the Recording Academy, will feature artists saluting The Boss. Part honorees include Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and Paul Simon.

Honorees are chosen in recognition of their creative accomplishments  and charitable work.

“Bruce Springsteen is a truly gifted and Renaissance artist of the time, a national treasure and an exemplary humanitarian,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation. “His career is a testament to the power of creative excellence, and his contributions as a philanthropist speak to the tenacity of the human spirit.”

Proceeds from the evening go to MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s offshoot that provides financial, medical and personal assistance.

MusiCares Person of the Year will be held in Los Angeles two days before the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.

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<p>Bradley Cooper in &quot;The Silver Linings Playbook&quot;</p>

Bradley Cooper in "The Silver Linings Playbook"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in the trailer for 'Silver Linings Playbook'

David O. Russell's 'Fighter' follow-up will be part of TWC's awards arsenal

The Weinstein Company, as noted a few times already, has quite the slate of films to throw at the wall this awards season. But what will stick? Will Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" sweep through the branches as a favorite or will it just be seen as a fun romp? Will Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" find a welcome rhythm? Will "Lawless" and "Killing Them Softly" find a much warmer reception than they did at Cannes? And what of something like Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet," stealthy and unassuming?

"The Silver Linings Playbook" is part of all of this too. It was featured with "Django" and "The Master" at Cannes as part of a footage screening package and comes from "The Fighter" director David O. Russell. I've heard this and that about the film, about how Robert De Niro is finally not phoning it in, about how stand-out "it" girl Jennifer Lawrence is, etc. But I've also heard Bradley Cooper is a bit surprising with his performance, and judging by the recently released trailer, I can see immediately he's firing on different cylinders than usual.

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<p>Jessica Hynes and Hugh Bonneville in &quot;Twenty Twelve.&quot;</p>

Jessica Hynes and Hugh Bonneville in "Twenty Twelve."

Credit: BBC

Review: BBC America's 'Twenty Twelve' a formulaic mockumentary

Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes don't have a lot to work with

Attitudes about TV comedy are an ever-evolving thing. For decades, the most popular, respected version of the form was done in the style of "I Love Lucy": shot on a stage in front of a live studio audience who were prompted to laugh early and often. Even on the occasion where a comedy was put on film with no audience, a laugh track would be added later. There were rhythms to the jokes, and to the way each scene flowed to the next, that became a familiar, beloved language among the audience.

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<p>Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes seems like a lock to win, but who deserves to join her in the field?

We're in the home stretch now of our look at the 2012 Emmy ballot. (Today is, in fact, the deadline for Academy members to turn in their ballots; we still have two categories to go, but we've never assumed that these stories have any impact on the actual voting.) As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

We're up to our final acting category, with Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...

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<p>&quot;Strike Back&quot;&nbsp;stars Philip Winchester, Rhona Mitra and Sullivan Stapleton will be coming to Comic-Con.</p>

"Strike Back" stars Philip Winchester, Rhona Mitra and Sullivan Stapleton will be coming to Comic-Con.

Credit: Cinemax

Cinemax to premiere 'Strike Back' season 2 at Comic-Con

Stars will also do a Con panel for action drama, which returns August 17

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Cinemax's "Strike Back" was one of last summer's more pleasant surprises. It was an action show that, given its channel of origin, could have just been an excuse for explosions, gunfights and lots of naked flesh. And it had all of those. But the gun, knife and fist fights were always well-choreographed, the international locations were used well, and there was more than lip service paid to both characterization and moral ambiguity. It was, as I wrote at the time, much better than it needed to be, and I'm very much looking forward to its return on Friday, August 17 at 10 p.m.

If you're a fan of the show and happen to be going to San Diego next month for Comic-Con, though, you may not have to wait as long. Cinemax is presenting a "Strike Back" panel featuring returning stars Philip Winchester (straight arrow British special forces ace Michael Stonebridge) and Sullivan Stapleton (wild card American operative Damien Scott), plus new cast addition Rhona Mitra, who has displayed an on-screen proficiency with firearms in the past. I'll be moderating the panel, which will be Friday, July 13, at 8 p.m. in Room 6DE of the Convention Center.

The next day, July 14, Cinemax is hosting a screening of the first two episodes of the new season at 1 p.m. at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp Stadium 15, which is a few blocks away from the Convention Center on 5th Avenue and G Street. It's open to anyone with a Comic-Con 2012 badge, and seating is first come, first serve.

Also, here's an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of Winchester and Stapleton getting ready to do a bit of stunt driving in the new season: 

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<p>Finally... a movie about people just like me.</p>

Finally... a movie about people just like me.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh make it rain with 'Magic Mike'

Because nothing says summer movie like half-naked dudes dancing

Okay, it's official… the summer of 2012 is not what I thought it was going to be at all, and I'm enjoying the near complete sense of surprise, week after week, film after film.  At the start of this week, I had three films scheduled, and the one I felt most excited about seeing, the one that seemed like the safest bet of the bunch was "The Amazing Spider-Man."

Now, on the far side of the three of them, "Spider-Man" is the one that disappointed me, and both Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" and Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike" have proven to be far more interesting than they seemed in basic pitch form.  There's something wonderful about being kept off-balance in the middle of a season where each week brings something that seems almost pre-digested thanks to hype and expectation. Aside from knowing the general backstory that Channing Tatum used to work as a stripper and that's where the material began, I knew next to nothing about "Magic Mike," and so while I'm not sure how they're selling the movie, they've got something really charming and smart here, and it deserves to be one of Soderbergh's biggest hits in years.

One of the things that makes him such an interesting filmmaker, even when he isn't completely on his game, is his willingness to try anything, work in any genre, tell any story.  Our film industry puts people into very narrow boxes as soon as they can, and it can be impossible for people to work outside of that very narrow definition of their talents.  Soderbergh seems like he's managed to figure out how to do some of everything, keeping it exciting because we can't possibly anticipate his next move if he can't.

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Watch: 'Ted' star Mark Wahlberg discusses fighting a stuffed animal and overcoming insecurities

Watch: 'Ted' star Mark Wahlberg discusses fighting a stuffed animal and overcoming insecurities

Why has the Oscar nominee been doing more comedies lately?
Mark Wahlberg has played lethal hitmen, deadly snipers, intimidating cops, crusty sailors, hair-triggered soldiers and a championship boxer, but in the new comedy "Ted," he plays a pot-head who ends up on the wrong side of a brawl with his best friend, a stuffed bear.
 
"I felt like the scene wasn't going work," Wahlberg admitted to me at the "Ted" junket last week. "I felt like it was ridiculous and far-fetched, but Seth [MacFarlane] was like, 'Dude, just trust me.' And everybody loves the scene."
 
The fracas between Wahlberg's John Bennett and the wise-cracking realization of a childhood wish has, indeed, become a centerpiece of the marketing for "Ted," which marks the live-action writing-directing debut for FOX Animation Domination powerhouse MacFarlane. It's exactly the sort of prolonged, escalating brawl that "Family Guy" fans have come to expect from Peter Griffin and his Giant Chicken nemesis.
 
In this case, though, it was mostly just Wahlberg fighting with himself, a bit of stuntwork that he explains required conquering insecurities and getting over the feelings of ridiculousness. 
 
In our brief sit-down, Wahlberg also talked about his increased comedic workload and getting to drink from the Stanley Cup while shooting at Fenway Park in Boston. 
 
I already posted my interview with Seth MacFarlane and stay tuned tomorrow for my conversation with Mila Kunis.
 
"Ted" opens on Friday, June 29.
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